Zoonar/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) — Onlookers rushed in to help after a hot air balloon came crashing down on a baseball field in Philadelphia with a pilot and three passengers.
“It’s a perfect, normal, everyday balloon flight, with a normal, perfect landing in a perfect spot,” the pilot, H.M. Steiger, told WPVI, an ABC affiliate.
But footage captured at the scene painted a different picture.
A group of people on a nearby basketball court and others sprinted over to help as the basket crashed to the ground and was being dragged across the park.
Several good Samaritans held on to the basket of the 80-foot balloon to keep it from being blown onto nearby city streets.
Police say the crew encountered strong winds during its flight, and was looking for the closest and safest place to land, WPVI reported.
“We’re concerned because it’s not really that safe, because C and West Moreland is in the city. This was not a pre-plannned landing destination,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told WPVI.
Earlier, the crew snapped a picture at 17,500 feet, saying Wednesday’s mission was to measure fuel consumption at different altitudes.
The unexpected landing, on a small green space in the middle of city streets, power lines and row homes, left residents flummoxed.
“When I saw it out of the window in my room, I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God,'” Yari Agosto told WPVI.
“The good thing was there are no kids in the park where it landed,” said Berkys Beez.
No injuries have been reported in the incident. The FAA is now investigating.
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